Tagged: culture

Design Thinking and UTS Library

I gave this presentation to a Victorian audience of mostly librarians on 28 August 2013. It outlines our journey with Design Thinking. The text is embedded against each slide below. (It is downloadable.)

 

Library Chat » Episode 8 – Mal Booth – Culture, Creativity, Play, Meetings

Library Chat » Episode 8 – Mal Booth – Culture, Creativity, Play, Meetings.

This a podcast of an interview that I did with Corin the Librarian (@corinh) in Auckland. It was done a while back and I’ve only just had a listen to it. I’m amazed at how coherent it is. Maybe it is all due to Corin’s editing, or maybe it was someone else impersonating me!

William Yang My Generation – Review

I saw this at its premier in the Dendy Opera Quays. William was there as were many of those featured in the images like Kate Fitzpatrick and Jenny Kee. George Gittoes was there too representing those from the Yellow House years who could not attend (like Martin Sharp) and those who had passed like Brett Whiteley. I caught up with George after the film as we had spent some time together in Iraq a few years back. He told me he was just back from Afghanistan and introduced me to a friend who was curating an exhibition of his work from those years. So, back to the film …

It is a film that documents one of his live performances, in this case 10/11 “My Generation”. I saw this live in Carriage Works back in 2009 I think and I still love it. I really like the way he carefully provides just enough context for his photographs, preferring to let his images talk for him. William has documented a fascinating period of Australian cultural (and gay) history that features those named above as well as many other significant figures including Patrick White, Jimmy Sharman, Rex Cramphorn, Little Nell Campbell, Margaret Fink, and Linda Jackson. This film is a visual potted history of that part of Sydney in the 80s and 90s.

I think it is wonderful and I think it is also being broadcast on ABC TV on 16 June, so don’t miss it. If you’ve not seen one of his performances and can remember the 80s and 90s it will ring many bells.

5/5 because I loved it and I think William is a national treasure.

The art of data visualisation

This morning I sat down and watched this video about the art of visualisation. http://www.openculture.com/2013/05/the_art_of_data_visualization_.html It is introduced and rounded up by Edward Tufte. There are some excellent tips on how good design can help to tell complex stories. My apologies if this all looks a bit like teaching someone how to suck eggs. Those points made that rang a bell with me:

  • It isn’t a new art form. It probably started with mapping, centuries ago.

  • It is at least in part about pattern recognition as this is easier in the visual sense because our brains quickly recognise patterns. (I know some people who can easily do this in a sheet of numbers too, but that is another story. My Dad died recently and he was one of these people.)

  • It is important to recognise that it is also about emotions and that is where aesthetics play a big part.

  • Visual storytelling aids in comprehension.

  • Like any form of design, you must start by understanding deeply.

  • I liked the guy who said that clever and aesthetic design can “invite people in”.

  • There are important links between art and culture. Currently our former artist-in-residence (Chris Gaul) and I are busy agreeing with each other that there is really no difference between some great design and great art.

  • Good visualisation is about revelation; revealing things not seen or not easily seen.

  • Remember your audience, they are smarter than you think, so treat them with respect.

  • Know your content.

  • Finally I think Tufte himself makes the point that sometimes ambiguity is a good thing. It can also be about “unknowing”.

Cultural institutions should do more of this. It is far more effective than dull annual reports.

And below you can see one of my favourite examples of data visualisation by Irene Wellington:

Bradman's comet trailing the sky of the Australian Innings